Sandeep Patil: Mumbai’s players must take more responsibility

The effect of T20 cricket may be behind the side’s poor performance in the Ranji Trophy this season, says the former India and Mumbai stalwart, in an interview.

Patil...“I want the Mumbai train to be back on track.”   -  Vivek Bendre (File Photo)

This has been quite a nightmarish season for Mumbai in this edition of the Ranji Trophy. The 41-time champion lost to Railways and Karnataka at home and is now struggling with just six points from three games.

Former India and Mumbai cricket stalwart, Sandeep Patil, tells Sportstar that it’s time for the players to take more responsibility. However, he is not in favour of any ‘knee-jerk reaction’ just yet.

Excerpts…

What has gone wrong for Mumbai this season?

I am not involved with Mumbai cricket for a while now, so it is difficult for me to pinpoint what the problem is. We have CIC and the senior selection committee, you have to ask them.

Maybe, it’s the effect of T20s. But then, all the teams are playing T20s, so why would it affect only Mumbai? What I have heard from my friends is that there is lack of patience [among batsmen]. They can’t occupy the crease. We were known for our khadoos style of play. Whatever be the situation, we could fight back.

In the middle of the season, some of the players like Shreyas Iyer or Shivam Dube did not play Ranji Trophy due to national team commitments…

You mean to say, Sunil Gavaskar was available all the time? When Sunil was not available, Sudhir Naik led us to victory. Ashok Mankad led Mumbai to victory. You can’t give excuse that Ajinkya [Rahane] is not available or Shardul [Thakur], Dhawal [Kulkarni] are not available… Mumbai has enormous bench strength if you look at it. Maybe, there’s something wrong with the selection. Maybe, there’s something wrong with the approach. The coach needs to find that out.

So, what should the players keep in mind for the remaining matches?

They should take more responsibility. You can say that it’s a team game, but every individual should think ‘I have to take responsibility and do my job’. Everybody is selected on the basis of certain numbers and are given a specific role. If you fail to do that, the result will be negative.

More responsibility should be taken by the players — not necessarily by the seniors, also by the juniors. When Dilip [Vengsarkar] and I started playing, we would look up to Ashok Mankad, Eknath Solkar, Sunil Gavaskar… you learn from them. Mumbai losing two home matches is difficult to digest.

Also Read | Rohit Sharma motivates struggling Mumbai with pep talk

What’s the way forward?

There is a Mumbai spirit of fighting back. You can’t just say we had a bad game. You have to fight back. I want the Mumbai train to be back on track. How long are you going to give excuse that so and so players are not available? Dhawal has been unfit for the last four-five years, same with Shardul. Other seamers are having the same problem.

Every time team does poorly, heads roll. Is that the right way?

No. Knee jerk reaction is not required. Just accept the fact, work on your problems. The problems, as I see it, is the effect of T20 cricket — too many shots, too many strokes, too many risks.

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